Incubators and Accelerators can be useful to entrepreneurs who are looking to move their start-ups forward. In addition to mentorship and training, many food startup accelerators will offer funding (often in exchange for a portion of equity), coworking space, and introductions to angels and venture capitalists that are looking to fund businesses like yours.
The List: Food Startup Accelerators & Incubators
Without further ado, here are some of the incubators and accelerators that have popped up across the globe that are focused on food, beverage, consumer goods and/or agriculture. Check ’em out.
- Accel Foods — NYC
- Alpha Strauss — Israel
- Blue Ridge Food Ventures — Asheville, NC
- Born Wild Brands — NYC – focused on incubating and advising food and beverage brands.
- Canvas — Marriott’s international food & beverage incubator
- Chobani Food Incubator — NYC
- Dairy Accelerator — Land O’Lakes corporate accelerator for dairy startups
- Dig Eat All — Spain – Five-week acceleration program focused on food, agriculture, and health companies.
- Distill Ventures — This is Diageo’s accelerator (i.e., the liquor magnate) and the cash investment they’re willing to make in your fledgling spirits business is pretty substantial – London
- FoodFuture — NYC – Focused on companies with revenues in the 2-10M range, FoodFuture offers acceleration services and funding for a select few companies
- Food System 6 — San Francisco Bay Area – Non-profit, impact-focused accelerator program taking place over 15 weeks
- Food Hatch — Naples, FL & NYC
- Food-X — based out of NYC – international!
- Fresh Startups — Toronto
- Good Food Business Accelerator — Chicago – focused on businesses supporting the Midwest foodshed
- NWC — Evanston, IL – incubator w/ commercial kitchen
- Organic Food Incubator — Brooklyn, NY
- Plug and Play Food Accelerator — Silicon Valley – Three month food, beverage and agriculture focused accelerator program
- Reimagine Food Prometheus — Barcelona, Spain – Food and technology acceleration program
- Rutger’s Food Innovation Center — Bridgeton, NJ
- Smorgasbord — South Africa – Incubator focused on creating, curating and building new engagement platforms around food & beverage in Africa.
- Sonoma Brands — started by the founder of Krave Jerky – Sonoma, CA
Not dedicated to food stuffs, but also accelerate/incubate food companies:
- Accelerating Appalachia — “nature-based” businesses, including food – Asheville, NC
- Bioenterprise — Not-for-profit accelerator focused on Ag-Bio – Canada
- Indie Bio — focused on biotech, but accelerates synbio companies like Muufri – San Francisco & Cork, Ireland
- SKU — formerly Incubation Station – Austin, TX
- The NextFarm Accelerator — Martin, TN
- Thrive Accelerator — This is SVG Partner’s accelerator, dedicated to AgTech – Salinas Valley
- Village Capital — focused on agriculture startups – Louisville, KY
- The Yield Lab – AgTech – St. Louis, MO
With all this talk of accelerators and incubators, you might be wondering: What’s the difference? I’ve got you covered. Check out: What’s the difference between an accelerator and an incubator?
As someone who has been through an accelerator program and has helped a startup founding team operate while attending YC, I understand the importance of weighing the costs of attending an accelerator (i.e., equity) versus the benefits (cash, connections, prestige, etc).
Do Accelerator Programs Work?
Do accelerator programs work? These stats on accelerator success rates might be helpful. It seems that YC leads the pack. No surprise there, but the success and metrics of accelerator programs in general are all opaque.
Have questions? Want to chat? Think I missed a program worthy of being listed? Shoot me an e-mail. I’m happy to help.